June 25, 2013  |  Members Statements

Vocational education and training: TAFE funding

University  of  Ballarat school  of  education professor  Erica  Smith recently attended an international  workshop  in  Europe focused on apprenticeships.  Following  her  return,  Professor  Smith  told the Ballarat Courier:

  There is a  real push now to use apprenticeships to reduce youth unemployment,  particularly in Europe …

She also  noted that recent  state  government TAFE cuts  had  directly affected courses popular with youth. She went on to say:

  Funding has been withdrawn from courses like retail and  hospitality … It is  not viable for any training provider to offer them anymore.


She further stated:

  The TAFE sector has shrunk and is not expanding …


  More needs to be put back into TAFE.

Sadly this government  has turned its back on  so many of our young people, both through the  huge cuts to TAFE made  in last year’s budget and  also through the further $20 million cut to the trade bonus program made in this budget. This cut will see skilled  apprentices  no  longer eligible to receive a funding grant at the  commencement of their apprenticeships. This  cruel  decision  will  further reduce the chances of many young people in my electorate taking up apprenticeships  and,  as  Professor Smith  so  clearly points  out,  reduce the chances of these young people gaining employment.

In  my  recent  meeting  with  University  of  Ballarat  vice-chancellor   David Battersby, he made it very clear that the university  was hurting  from its  $20 million cut to TAFE and its subsequent  reduction of approximately one-third  of its  TAFE offering.  This means there will be hundreds of fewer places for young people needing training and is a very serious indictment — —

The DEPUTY SPEAKER — Order! The member’s time has expired.